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Statement on Trump ending DACA

| Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Trump Administration has ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), effective in six months. DACA allows “Dreamers” who came to the United States as children and who met several requirements to request consideration of deferred action from deportation for a renewable period of two years.

The decision to end DACA is ill-conceived for at least two reasons: First, fundamental fairness and compassion and second, economic policy. It exposes Dreamers to deportation who are not morally culpable and yet have contributed meaningfully to America, and it reallocates limited government resources to low-priority cases.

In order to be considered for temporary deferral under DACA, Dreamers had to lack moral blameworthiness. They came to the United States before their 16th birthday. Today, they are students, graduates or veterans, have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor and have chosen to self-identify to the Department of Homeland Security. Echoing this, Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma noted, “Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parents.”

Allowing Dreamers to work also makes sound economic sense. Perhaps this is why 400 business executives, including leaders from Apple, Facebook and Amazon, have formally petitioned Trump and pledged to “Stand with Dreamers.” The Trump Administration’s budget proposal is premised on economic growth. To that end, Dreamers stimulate economic growth, in part by creating synergies in the workplace and supporting Americans jobs and contributing billions of dollars to the nation’s gross domestic product.

Ultimately, ending DACA causes a reallocation in federal spending that defies logic. Not only will we lose billions of dollars in taxes paid by Dreamers, but we will also squander what is left. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; we simply do not have the money to deport everyone. Admitting this, the Executive can use lawful discretion to focus on deporting the alleged “drug dealers, criminals and rapists” he identified, rather than deporting individuals who were brought to America as children and who have made a positive contribution to our country ever since.

We are proud members of the Notre Dame community, which have pledged to support DACA students financially, academically and legally, even if the federal government fails to; and we agree that such a failure would be “foolish, cruel and un-American.”

Hispanic Law Students Association at Notre Dame Law School

Jimmy Gurulé

law professor

Daniela Peinado

3rd year law student

Ashley Pileika

3rd year law student

Peter Gonzales

2nd year law student

Nicole Marcos

3rd year law student

Natalia Fernandez-de-Cordova

3rd year law student

Jessica Sirianni

3rd year law student

Veronica Canton

3rd year law student

D’Asia Bellamy

2nd year law student

Cristina Sanchez

2nd year law student

Sept. 6

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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